Norwich City Under-23s prepare for Premier League Cup clash with Wolves
- Credit: EXPA Pictures/Focus Images Ltd
Premier League Cup action continues a busy period for Norwich City's youth teams this evening (7pm kick-off).
City's under-23s travel to Wolves looking to keep hold of top spot in Group D and to bounce back from a 2-0 loss to Swansea at Carrow Road on Monday.
That disappointing loss in Premier League Two was followed by better news in the FA Youth Cup at Watford on Tuesday night, winning 5-1 at Vicarage Road.
City's young guns can exact revenge on the Swans next week when they return to Carrow Road in the first knock-out round of the EFL Trophy but tonight is a chance to maintain their unbeaten start to the Premier League Cup competition, after an opening 0-0 draw against Portsmouth and a 4-1 win at Everton last month.
'It's a real busy week for us and I think between the 23s and the 18s we've got quite a lot players who play in both of those squads,' said Halajko.
'We've got five games in seven days so it's a real push for our whole system in terms of making sure we get those lads through those matches and performing at a high level.
'So it should be great, you look at those matches and we've got FA Youth Cup, Premier League Cup, Checkatrade Trophy and then the league games as well so the exposure the boys are getting is top class.'
With return matches against all three teams still to come, victory at New Bucks Head this evening, the home of AFC Telford United, would keep Norwich on track for a place in the last 16.
Halajko expects a better showing from his squad against their Wolves counterparts, after Swansea inflicted only a second defeat in 11 games at under-23 level.
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Ben Godfrey inadvertently diverted Alex Samuel's cross into his own net after just three minutes before conceding a penalty following the interval slotted by Botti Biabi.
'Our form has been so good recently, our performances have been good, so we can just put that one away and look forward to Friday and next Tuesday,' said Halajko. 'It will certainly be one we want to avenge on Tuesday and I'd be very surprised if, on Friday or Tuesday, we're as poor on the ball as we were.
'The lads worked really hard to the end, showed good togetherness and team spirit. If we keep all of that and are better on the ball then I think we'll be fine.'
Halajko had to dip into the younger age groups against the Swans earlier this week, with 16-year-old winger Glenn Middleton and 17-year-old defender Timi Odusina both starting after Todd Cantwell and Louis Ramsay picked up injuries in a recent league win at Aston Villa. The pair continue to be assessed by the club's medical staff.
'There's no timeline on them yet because it's too early to tell,' said Halajko. 'Both picked up injuries in the last game so we're just working hard on them, I think we missed them (against Swansea), they're two of our more senior players, they've played a lot of games at this level so we miss them at the moment.
'Hopefully they are not (serious), it's a little bit too early, I don't think it's anything overly-serious but whether it will be a couple of days or a couple of weeks, or a couple more weeks, is yet to be determined.'